Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Easy Ways to be More Green

I am so excited to have Mia Taylor guest hosting today and sharing ideas on "How to be More Green".  Check out these great ideas and I look forward to having Mia on the blog again.
______________________________________________________


Some of the biggest concerns people face today are the environmental ones. For example, according to the World Resources Institute, each year we lose over 100 species due to tropical deforestation. This problem concerns everyone, even our future generations.

So, is there anything we can do to protect our planet and prevent any further destruction? Or are we just a lost cause? Of course, not! Luckily, we have become more aware of the civilization’s impact on the environment, so people are willing to do what is necessary to lead a greener lifestyle.

But living green can be overwhelming for some. Starting something new may be difficult when you don’t know where to begin! But don’t worry, we are here to show you that going green is easier than you think! Here are some simple steps you can start implementing on daily basis if you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Start Saving Power

Cut back on energy in your home. If you don’t use it - turn it off! Lights, TV, appliances, you don’t need them running all the time. Also, change your lightbulbs. Replace the old ones with CFL bulbs. They save more energy and last up to five times longer. Adjust your heating and cooling systems during the seasons. Make sure your home is properly insulated. All these things will help you keep your energy consumption to a minimum, which will eventually lead to smaller electricity and utility bills and more money in your pocket.


Don’t Waste Water

Take shorter showers, but also make sure you turn the water off while shampooing or shaving. You can save energy by heating the water only for washing the dishes, laundry or showering. Another way to reduce water consumption is to collect rainwater and use it for watering your garden. If we cut back on bottled water, we can reduce global greenhouse gas emission, the energy required to produce plastic and the volume of waste from the empty plastic bottles. Invest in water filter which will save you money in the long run.

Buy Food from Local Farmers and Use Your Own Shopping Bag

Don’t buy food which was imported from far away; that’s why you should always read the labels on fruits and vegetables. Make an effort to buy food locally, from the neighborhood farms. That way you help reduce carbon emissions in the process of shipping food around the world. Furthermore, buying in bulk and avoiding large amounts of packaging will be another step towards going green. Bring your own cloth bag instead of using numerous plastic ones.

Choose Your Cosmetic Products Carefully

You might be surprised at the amount of harmful chemicals our cosmetic products contain. Considering our skin absorbs up to 60 percent of the product, you should really think twice before choosing. Use only reliable products made of natural and non-toxic ingredients, such as high-quality Dr Hauschka products. Their natural skincare collection offers a huge palette of products suitable for every skin type. So, try green, cost-effective, natural cosmetic brands such as this one which will leave you with healthy, glowing skin everyone will fall in love with.

Travel Green

By walking, riding a bike or using public transportation you help reduce the carbon dioxide and particulate emissions from driving a gas- or diesel-powered car. Suggest it to your family, too. Try carpooling with your friends and co-workers. Also, if it is within your budget, get a more gas-friendly vehicle. Choose greener ways of transport. For example, try train instead of a plane ride as it will immensely reduce your carbon footprint.

It doesn’t take much to make positive changes, yet it helps a lot on a global scale.
Going green is as easy as taking a few simple steps in the right direction. Be an example for your friends, family and all the people around you. Saving our natural resources will save you some money too, not to mention the entire planet.
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on a lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
Twitter | FacebookBTL pic.jpg


Monday, May 29, 2017

Home Party with Friend? Here Are Tips to Find the Right Caterer

Melissa Hamler is sharing her ideas on the right type of caterer for a party at home with friends. Summer is the best time for get together's. Thanks for the helpful hints Melissa.
______________________________________________________

Partying with friends means fun, gossip and food at the same time. But a house party also means lots of preparation to make it fun-filled and worth-remembering. Even a small mistake can spoil your mood and may lead to a party that is not perfect. Today, everyone is a foodie, so preparing sumptuous and mouth-watering dishes for a home party is also a major part of the preparation. You may organize some birthday party or arrange some anniversary party in your home, then you can look for some caterer for these events. Therefore, in this regards, you can choose some caterers who are specialized in domestic and family parties. Along with that, you need to discuss your requirements like probable number of guests, dishes, beverages and BBQ menus with the caterer.  


How would you arrange the home party with a perfect caterer?

  • If you want to have a good impression on your guests, make sure that you are serving some delicious dishes to them. For that, ensure that some expert individuals prepare the food. Professional caterers not just allow you to pay attention to other preparations for the party, but also give you a bonus of ordering anything.

  • In addition, they also ensure that everything is being served in an impressive way. But to get all these facilities, it is essential to hire caterers who are not just experienced in preparing foods for parties, but also excel in handling guests in a good manner.




Here are some essential tips that may help you in reaching and hiring the best caterers:

Meet the caterers and narrow down the hunt

Start looking for caterers for your house party a few days before. During the exploration, you may have to meet more than one caterer to compare their services. But before start meeting them, ensure that you know what to discuss with them. It may include things like number of guests, foods you want in the party and what kind of services you need.

  • Check their kitchens
If you want to learn about a catering service provider, no place is better than their kitchen. Before discussing your expectations, do visit their kitchen and check for the staff’s cleanliness and passion for their work. Along with that, you can also taste some dishes prepared by their expert cook and they should use the mineral water for preparing the dishes.  


  • Share your ideas
Although you’re not an expert in preparing foods for parties, there is no harm in discussing your ideas with them. You can talk to them about number of food items in the menu, their type and quantity. A professional caterer will value your ideas and work on them seriously. For the children, you need to arrange some special menus whish are less spicy and you need to discuss these menus with the caterer before hiring.

  • Compare rates and discuss budget
When you will meet more than one caterer, you have choices. Ask every catering service provider about their food services, their cost and timing. In this way, you will have information on every caterer, and you could choose the one suiting your requirements.  

If you are planning to get extra services, such as tables and chair or extra workers, discuss it with the catering company. You must ask them their charges for their services. Some caterers may also give you complementary services with some kinds of packages.
  


Saturday, May 27, 2017

How Your Blocked Drain Can Be Cleaned by Expert Plumbers

Zac Ferry is here to give some helpful hints on how your blocked drain can be cleaned by Expert Plumbers. Thanks for the tips Zac.
______________________________________________________


There are many supporting reasons why you may have to call a plumber in case of choking drains. You might have done different types of jobs of DIY jobs on your plumbing lines like changing a faucet, or fixing a shower. But when it’s about a blocked line, you don’t know where the block is, and you are clueless. In that case only a professional plumber should be relied on.


There are many sources to get a professional Blocked Drain Plumber. There are apps and websites which introduce you with professionals. Then there are individual websites of plumbers where also you just need to give a call.  Business classified pages etc. all come handy when you really need the service. And instead of taking risk with a blocked drain self servicing which may result in many problems; you should take the help of professionals blocked drain plumber to get into the root cause of problem.  

Problem with Blocked Drains

The main problems you face when you have a blocked drain are:
  • Drain water stands and pools thus creating an unhygienic mess
  • Much of the water reverses back to the floor or sink
  • Sickening bad smell may come out of a blocked drain after the fermentation of wastes under anaerobic conditions
  • Pests and insects also may come inside the house through the blocked drain opening.
  • The blocked drains and associated pipes may burst under extreme pressure.

In serious problems, an expert plumber can help you quickly to unclog the drain, and bring on balance.

How to Detect a Blockage in Drain

A blockage in drain can be detected if you can identify the symptoms associated. Sometimes on early detection you may arrange for a plumber instantly before the kitchen or bathroom etc gets too messy and unclean.


  • Are you getting foul odor from the drain opening? If it is persistent, and growing in intensity then you possibly have a block somewhere. Something is decomposing and is jammed or chocked; thus, creating the bad smell.
  • Sometimes when water is passing through the pipes, you might have heard a strange gurgling sound. This is an obvious sign of a drain block.
  • When you pour water, you may see the water lingering over the surface or moving slowly while standing at times and then again moving, or just too slow to make you impatient. This is also another sign of blockage.  Drain may have some blocks letting in very little water to pass at a time.
  • You may notice the water level in the toilet to be too high or too low, which is again a danger sign that the tile may overflow anytime due to a block, and the bathroom may get messy.
  • Change in water pressure, or a drop is another sign.
  • Water may simply stand and pool, which obviously is because of a major drain block.

Expert Service by Experienced Blocked Drain Plumber

Experienced and expert blocked drain plumber would use such impressive techniques to help you that you will love the service. Camera fitted pipes are used by them to insert though the drain and find out where the exact block is, and what caused it. Accordingly, they plan and take steps to clear the block. The block may be cleaned with tweaking the blockage with a long pole etc, or may have to be hit, or may be cleared with vibrations. Use of cleaners and acids are also popular. Whatever the way is, the plumber decides the best, and helps.

A good blocked drain clearing plumbing service must be available round the clock, as emergencies never knock and come. Also, their service must be affordable, and effective, so that after the servicing, you need not to call them immediately.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to Select the Right Sandstone for Paving

Lauren Bracy always has such great ideas on home improvement. Today she is sharing on how to select the right sandstone pavers. Check out her great ideas.
______________________________________________________

The right sandstone pavers are one of the most important elements when it comes to building your bathroom, driveway, or other similar areas. They are ideal for both outdoor and indoor purposes, as they provide you with a natural finish and are weather-friendly. Also, being water-resistant, they tend to work well for slippery zones too. However, there are some important aspects to consider when buying them and ensure durability and longevity.


Getting and touching samples

An essential aspect of choosing these sandstone pavers is to ensure that you can get the right kind of material that you are looking for. Despite so many options, not these are or might be suitable for your home or commercial space. For example, some pavers may have too many textures or even not be that anti-slip. On the other hand, you can get some that are quite coarse. So, see and feel the material before finalizing the deal.

Thin or thick

The depth or the thickness of these sandstone pavers is the next question. What often happens here is that these pavers may be thicker or thinner depending on the area. Think places like walls that do not require very thick pavers. On the contrary, thicker pavers and specifically made for areas like the driveways or even the bathroom floors and other similar zones. Being thicker makes them less prone to breakage. Therefore, it is essential for maintaining the durability. They can withstand more weight and the wear and tear that happens every day.

Textured or plain

There is no doubt that the classic textured sandstone pavers look great with most kinds of floors. However, there is a problem when using it on certain types of areas. For example, the driveway is not a place where you want too much of floor texture. It would only mean that you must put your car through a lot of trouble constantly. On the other hand, the bathroom being textured would make the floor more resistant to slip. In addition, another aspect to consider here is that given stones tend to work out less expensive, as they fit in well and have a good texture. On the other hand, something that is smooth will not fit well rightly on the floor. Moreover, it will require a sealant.


Concrete or natural stone

Concrete stones are a popular option with most of the sandstone pavers because they are easily available and serve the industrial purpose too. However, there are also natural options, but they might not have the similar or smooth finish that concrete provides. However, of course, the edges of the concrete pavers need a lot of fixing or else they tend to have problems later.

Besides the above, there are some other considerations that one must consider when choosing these sandstone pavers-

  • Make sure that you are comparing the prices not only based on the tiles, but also on the laying down cost and other details. Else, these would eat into your budget.
  • Alongside, check if you are getting longer or bigger tiles for larger areas. These reduce the laying out cost and give a better finish. On the other hand, smaller stones tend to work better for compact places.

Therefore, the next time when you are comparing and working out on these factors, do consider the overall material, product finish, depth, and other related aspects into account to get the best of deals. This will enable you to select the right sandstone pavers.

Expose Yourself: How to Prep Your Skin for Summer

Tracey Clayton has some really great ideas on how to prep your skin for summer. Check out these great tips and don't forget the sun screen.
______________________________________________________

Hot and sunny days are just around the corner and before you know it, you’ll be jumping into swimwear and heading to the beach. But before you ditch warm clothes, you need to prepare your skin for the upcoming season. Here’s how to make your skin look healthy and shiny and welcome the summer feeling confident.

Water is the key

There’s hardly a better way to prep your skin for summer than to drink lots of water. Our skin reflects dehydration, and drinking enough water every day will improve your overall health condition and your skin’s appearance. Water moisturizes your skin from the inside and gives it a glowy and rejuvenated look. Drink plenty of water during summer months to increase your energy levels and ensure a spotless skin.


Healthy eating means healthy skin

Embracing unhealthy lifestyle will leave consequences on your skin. Bad eating habits, as well as the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, will show on your skin and you won’t be able to fix it just by using cosmetic products. In order for your skin to remain healthy you’ll need to take on an inside-out approach. Switching to a healthy diet and eating a lot of fruit and veggies can do wonders for your skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which behave as antioxidants and prevent inflammatory processes that result in acnes and other skin issues. Eating plenty of citrus fruits and leafy greens will nurture your skin from the inside and give it a youthful and fresh look.

Skincare products

Apart from embracing a healthy diet, you need to take care of your skin from the outside, too. Daily cleansing is essential to keep your skin pure. Having regular facials will help your skin regenerate, while exfoliating will remove dead cells of your skin and enable it to regain its youthful glow. Apart from your face, it’s a good idea to exfoliate your whole body with the help of some gentle body scrub. Once you’ve done exfoliating, apply a quality moisturizer to keep your skin smooth. Also, you should use a daily cream before you put on makeup. If you have troubles with your skin for any reason, the Osmosis MD selection will help you purify and balance your skin. Regardless of your skin type and sensitivity, their products cater to all your needs and help you restore a flawless skin.

Battle UV rays

Overexposure to sun can cause skin problems, as UV rays penetrate deeply into your skin, damaging its elasticity and causing dark spots and uneven tan. To combat the negative effects of the sun, make sure to use a good sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. Additionally, the right food can also help you prevent sun damage on your skin. Eating cooked tomatoes while spending entire days in the sun can minimize the negative impact of UV rays and prevent sunburns. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a substance that helps skin retain its elasticity and glow, and it prevents the appearance of redness and marks caused by sun.

Remove hair with care

During summer, chances are you’ll be doing a lot of waxing, which dries and irritates your skin. It’s important to remember not to expose your skin to the sun at least two days after you’ve had a hair removal, as in that period your skin is particularly sensitive and prone to irritation. Ingrown hairs are another problem that affects your skin after hair removal due to dead skin cells, so it’s advisable to use after-waxing products with salicylic and glycolic acids, which work effectively to prevent the appearance of this nuisance.

Regular workout

Exercising every day is extremely beneficial for your skin. Apart from helping you stay fit, working out improves blood circulation, enabling your skin to glow. Also, through sweating, our body releases all the toxins that cause impurities in our skin, thus making it shiny and spotless again.
Summertime is practically here, and with the help of these tips you’ll be able to show off your gorgeous skin wherever you go.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. She’s also passionate about fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Important Benefits and Features of Double Sided Fireplace


Melissa Hamler is guest hosting today and sharing thoughts on why a double sided fireplace may be right for your home. Check out these great tips.
______________________________________________________

If you live in a cold area where you need warmth, a fireplace is a smart idea to provide comfort to your family. Apart from its main functionality, it gives your room a more beautiful look. Usually, the rest of the home decor is arranged in accordance with the fireplace. Installing a double sided fireplace will give you the best experience; from providing warmth to saving money. With its numerous benefits, it is not at all surprising to see fireplaces with dual sides becoming common especially in areas where heating is a primary concern. Dual sided fireplaces are basically designed to operate as perfectly functioning fireplaces on two sides.


Fireplaces has been used for many years.  More often than rare, fireplaces can be seen when a family gathers to warm up during cold winter nights. These day’s fireplaces have become the trademark of interior design and luxurious home. Double sided fireplace is slowly gaining popularity because of its efficiency and effectiveness. The best part is, it is easy to handle, less costly to install, doesn't require any additional components like a second chimney, and one can sense its heating effect up to two.  It can easily be installed on a wall that divides two rooms, allowing to warm both rooms equally.

Why Double Sided Fireplace?

If you're planning to decorate your home to add a pinch of modern touch, you might be thinking to change conventional fireplace as well. The more efficient and affordable double sided fireplace is a recent invention that comes with several benefits. Now we will list out each benefit.

  • They create different zones: If you have an open-concept house, there might be little separation between the rooms. Though it gives a beautiful look to your home by creating a large open space; , it might be more chilling in vast open space. This is definitely not something that you want for your home, especially in winter. Arranging the furniture cleverly like stand-alone bookcases or room separators might be a good solution. However, a double sided fireplace is perfect here. It is highly effective in certain situations where a living area and kitchen need to be separated from the bedroom. A fireplace having dual side is an excellent way to break the space. And who wouldn't like to have warmth in bedroom as well as in living room.



  • Inside and Out: A back-to-back fireplace that opens from living room or kitchen to garden or balcony, has numerous benefits. It is an excellent option to maintain consistency between indoor and outdoor spaces. It also allows you to dine out even if the temperature is low outside. It is also great if you're arranging parties in winter. Basically, it allows you to enjoy your garden and outside nature for the extended months.

  • They warm more than one area: With double sided fireplace, you can warm two areas at once. This is helpful, especially if your family members or guests want to be in different rooms and they can enjoy warmth as well as sight of the fire.


  • Save money: Double sided fireplaces are more efficient in terms of energy saving. During cold winter days, people want to turn on the central heating system; this makes each and every corner of the house warm, even the rooms that you may not use frequently. However, with two-sided fireplace, you are heating only two areas at once. This will save you from high energy bills. Moreover, a double sided fireplace installation is much cheaper than installing two one sided fireplaces.

  • Save space: It doesn't need any additional space as it can be installed in a wall between the rooms. Moreover, double sided fireplaces do not intrude into either rooms and hence they offer more convenience.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Choose the Perfect Swimming Pool

Diana Smith is on the blog today to share some great ideas on how to choose the perfect swimming pool. I love when Diana shares her ideas...she is always welcome to host!
______________________________________________________

A backyard pool can be a great addition to your property. It adds market value regardless of the size, type, or even the location of your home. More importantly, a pool makes the home appear more pleasant, fun, and luxurious. Your pool area can be perfect for entertaining guests or throwing parties, or it can be a place where you can relax and unwind after a long day.
Choosing the right swimming pool requires taking a lot of things into consideration. Start with the intended purpose of the pool, but also think about the overall design and appearance of your property.



The size
There are no clear rules when it comes to choosing the swimming pool size. The decision depends on how many people will use the pool, whether you plan to do laps in it, and how much patio space you have to work with. Also, if you plan to throw parties by the pool, it’s good to know in advance how many guests you are expecting and if the parties will include barbecues, stereo systems or any other items that can take up large amounts of space.
The shape
There are innumerable options to choose from when it comes to your pool shape (even if you want it to be guitar shaped, it can be arranged). However, there are a few shapes that have been around for years and can accommodate the needs of the most. Roman swimming pools are the ones with an open space beside it – they are great for relaxing, and savoring every moment of the swim. L-shaped pools allow for a lot of movement on the patio and therefore work best for parties and social gatherings. In the end, figure 8 pools work well with decorative waterfalls, and they can make your backyard look serene.


Plunge pools
Plunge pools are smaller and shallower than the traditional ones, and they are used for lounging and cooling off after a swim. They are usually situated next to a larger pool or a hot tub. A plunge pool is less expensive and takes up less space, which is why it’s preferred by homeowners who want the luxury of a backyard pool but don’t have the means to install a large swimming pool. They are also a great choice for exercises focused on stretching rather than cardio exercises that include lap swimming.
Concrete
Concrete is the most popular material for swimming pools, but it’s also one of the most expensive ones. It can be formed in any size or shape. It’s also the most durable material and won’t be damaged by water or the sun. Concrete pools can be easily rebuilt, reshaped or enlarged. Because of all this, it usually takes a bit longer for concrete pools to be built. Depending on the size, it can take up to 12 weeks until it’s ready to be used. This includes painting, which is optional, but most people do it in order to match the pool with the overall design of the yard.


Fiberglass
Fiberglass pools are in a way an opposite of the concrete ones. They are a bit more limited when it comes to size and shape, but they are installed quickly and don’t require too much disturbance. The mold is premade and then inserted into a hole in the ground by using cranes. The whole process lasts no longer than 3 days. Moreover, these pools are perfectly smooth and very durable. They also require less cleaning chemicals.
When installing a pool, try to think about how it will be used in years to come and how it will fit into your yard. It’s a long-term decision and the initial cost isn’t always the most important factor to consider.